is the perfect lead-in for this post. I’ve been itching to try Dan’s Baba Ghanoush recipe since he mentioned it a few weeks ago in his post. I picked up 3 beautiful Sicilian eggplants on Saturday at the Farm and had them earmarked for the Babah, as Dan calls it.
I had hoped to prepare them on the grill to ensure the yummy smokiness Dan wrote about. But alas the weather did not cooperate with said plan and I wound up roasting them in the oven. I will readily admit that I am NOT experienced with eggplant prep, so I had to do some research in addition to following Dan’s recipe. Eggplant and I are not simpatico.
You hear a lot about bitterness in eggplants, and the need to salt and/or drain them as part of the preparation process. Large seeds are typically an indicator of bitterness. Since these eggplants were super fresh and had small seeds (see photo above), I chose to skip salting and draining them. I lined a baking sheet with foil, and rubbed it with a small amount of olive oil. For the eggplants, I cut off the tops and sliced them in half, scored the flesh side, placed them on the baking sheet and roasted at 475F for about 35-40 minutes.
I let the eggplants cool and then followed the recipe from Claudia Roden’s “The New Book Of Middle Eastern Cooking.” I wound up doubling the recipe because I had about 4 pounds of eggplant. As an aside, I felt quite diligent because I used my recently purchased Escali scale to weight them in advance. Handy purchase.
Verdict: Very tasty eggplant dish, absolutely no bitterness, so good call not to salt/drain.
But I didn’t achieve the much-desired smokiness that comes with grilling. I read on The Shiksa’s blog that you CAN achieve that smokiness in the oven if you roast a few minutes longer than you think you need to. Must try that next time. Eggplant and I will become BFF.